By Timothy Moynahan . . . Patch, a local electronic news outlet, has continued its annual, indefensible, fear-mongering practice of publishing the names and addresses of people in the communities they cover who are on the sexual offender registry. Ostensibly pushed as a public safety courtesy in preparation for Halloween, after being called on the inadequacies in their promotion by the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL) and Connecticut’s One Standard of Justice, it is now simply an October shaming exercise with no redeeming value.
On top of that, Patch outlets falsely promote a previous NARSOL letter by presenting it as written by sex offender advocates objecting to the mapping of registered offenders. No reasonable person advocates for sex offenders in the sense that this statement declares and/ or implies. No sane person defends the acts of any sex offender. Sex offenses are crimes, and conscientious citizens condemn crimes of every kind, including sex offenses; they do not advocate for them.
More precisely, those who object to the publication of the local mapping in question are motivated by principles of justice and equity. In disputing the unjust targeting at Halloween of those registered for the conviction of a sexual crime, they do so based upon studies which conclude that no benefit is derived by the communities in which they dwell, while substantial harm is inflicted on the offender and innocent family members.
Therefore, the public mapping of sex offenders in this way not only fails to serve any salutary purpose but also is a callous and cruel exercise of the power of the press. By claiming to signal virtue, it furnishes an excuse for imposing pain. That was the habit and practice of the righteous hypocrites who burned witches in times long past. It is to discourage and denounce that barbarous conduct that advocates rally. It is the defenseless, the marginalized and the ostracized who most need protection from the wanton power of the media.